Bir 'Iayyan was a station on the road between Edfu and the gold mines of Barramiya, towards the coast of the Red Sea; this inscription shows that the road was developed in the reign of Ptolemaios II, as part of a concerted effort to encourage trade in the Red Sea region. At around the same time, a major port was established on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea at Berenike. For more details of Bir 'Iayyan and the inscription, see "Chronique d' Égypte", 1996 ( PDF ); the translation is by R.S.Bagnall.
J.G.Manning ( ZPE, 2002) points out that in a demotic papyrus from Edfu ( PHausw_11 ), which contains a contract dated February/March 224 B.C., one of the witnesses is called Rhodon son of Lysimachos. This may be either the same man who is mentioned in the inscription, if he lived on for another 33 years, or his grandson, if the family followed the normal Greek naming convention.
From the river to this point, four hundred and sixty-one stades. In the reign of Ptolemaios son of Ptolemaios Soter, year 28, month of Epeiph; Rhodon of Ptolemais, son of Lysimachos, the toparch of the (?) three, set up this stone.
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